SOMA BOE president releases statement on new contract for superintendent

SOUTH ORANGE / MAPLEWOOD, NJ — South Orange–Maplewood Board of Education President Thair Joshua released a statement regarding the new contract for Superintendent of Schools Ronald G. Taylor on Aug. 27, in which he details the board’s new agreement with Taylor.

“When Dr. Taylor came to our district with previous experience as a superintendent leading construction projects, New Jersey school superintendent’s salaries were capped at approximately $190,000,” Joshua said in the statement. “Shortly after his arrival, the state lifted the salary cap, and many New Jersey superintendents renegotiated their contracts. Dr. Taylor opted to defer that opportunity to renegotiate as he was new to the district. By the end of his first year, we were deep in the global pandemic, so again, the board and the superintendent did not renegotiate.

“The board has now negotiated a new contract that reflects current market rates, including the removal of merit pay, while ensuring stability and the continuity of leadership our district needs,” Joshua continued. “This contract will allow us to continue our forward movement on the district’s commitment to equity and excellence in education, including but not limited to: Intentional Integration Initiative expansion; physical improvement of our elementary schools, including over 45 new classrooms; Development of secondary school construction plans, (including) Columbia High School, which will include nine new classrooms, (and) renovation projects at both middle schools; further investment in technology, both hardware and software; transforming the climate and culture in school buildings through a commitment to restorative justice and crisis intervention teams; and continual curriculum revision to reflect our student population and to manifest true inclusion for all students and families, (including by providing) community access to all curricula through Atlas.”